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LinCare Concerns
#1
I am a client of Lincare, and I have a concern about what happened during a visit. To sort of sort the stage, I had received my unit with full face mask, and had problems with it not really functioning. I requested a Nasal Mask as I could not get the face mask to seal properly, and I also requested a chin strap. Because no matter how or what I use as a mask the pressures blow my mouth open and I do not receive full benefit from the CPAP machine. I told this to my case manager at the time of the delivery of the machine, and again when she came out to adjust pressures. So I was not able to use the CPAP. they sent a letter and told me that they were picking up the machine because I was not using it. I explained to them that I have been waiting for the Chin strap, and the Nasal mask. The case manager sort of went nasty, telling me that she did not know anything about this, and that her message machine was empty for messages from, me if it was that big of a problem. I explained that I had told her this and that I did not think I should have to make sure she did her job. They picked up the CPAP, and I had to go through another sleep study et al. I had requested a different Case Manager this time as I did not trust the current one.
Then when I went in to pick up the new one, I went to the office about an hour early. I apologized, and asked if this was a problem. I was told it was, very rude, in fact nasty. I thought we all do not work at the same level. I just thought this is rude. I went oput for a drive and came back in an hour. I was fitted for the Machine with a facemask, I again asked for the nasal. The person fitting me said she did not know anything about this. BUT she did have the chin strap. Ok the fitting was over, I went out to the lobby, and some conversation went on about that I was all set. Then like in unison all of the four women said now use it, like not very nice. I thought what is going on here? Then it seemed like there has been discussion regarding my situation. I felt like maybe HIPA has been violated. Does anyone else think this too? Should I file a HIPA Complaint?
I also still have trouble receiving my nasal mask. They will send a face mask, and once in a while I will receive a chinstrap. I must beg for it. Every one of the people I talk to there are snippy and argumentative. I cringe when I see they are calling.
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#2
Not sure why you posted this in Off-Topic forum since it is all about your therapy and compliance. Hopefully a moderator moves it so you get credit for the post.

If you have problems with the pressure escaping from your mouth with a full-face mask, a nasal mask is unlikely to fix the problem. Your profile indicates you don't know what mask or machine you use, but that your pressure is 18 cm. That is a lot of pressure! My first suggestion would be to start working with your doctor to deal with the problems you describe, because he/she may be able to prescribe a lower pressure to help you adapt, or to use an auto machine that only increases pressure when you need it, or even a bilevel machine that gives you some exhalation pressure relief. It seems a bit unrealistic to throw you onto a CPAP and expect 18 cm H2O to be comfortable.

Lincare sucks. Ask for a different DME referral, or check your insurance for other in-network suppliers.
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#3
Change DMEs. I fired them right off because they refused to offer anything but a Resmed brick.
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#4
Hi jwn58,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I would change DMEs.
I have heard them called Lincare less, yeah, sounds about right.
I'm sorry you have had such a bad experience, (all be it, very common, unfortunately.)
I wish you good luck with finding a different DME and with your CPAP therapy.
trish6hundred
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#5
You are responsible for your own care, comfort, and well-being. So to become more proactive in your own care:

(1) Notify your physician that you are not receiving the therapy ordered.
(2) Ask your physician to write a prescription for an "auto-titrating" data capable unit like the ResMed Autosense Autoset or a Phillips Equivalent. You can then load your own software and take a more active role in assessing your therapy needs and to provide documentation to the doctor when you have questions.
(3) Ask your physician to write a prescription for a nasal mask, a full face mask, and a chin strap.
(4) Ask your insurance company for a list of suitable DMEs in your area.
(5) If you are treated poorly, document the encounter (date, time, person, conversation or event notes).
(6) Demand to be treated politely and professionally -- in return treat them politely and professionally and you may wish to avoid explaining the backstory as you are only interested in what happens now and in the future. Recounting the past to a new contact does not change anything and often causes problems as people may consider you troublesome. That does not mean you cannot write a complaint letter to the medical facility or the State of California Medical Quality Assurance Board (http://www.mbc.ca.gov/Consumers/) or your insurance company.
(7) If you still are having issues, you may wish to consult an attorney to write a letter on your behalf noting your concerns. Official letters often get close scrutiny by everyone concerned.

Best of luck with your therapy.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
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#6
Go eat at the BBQ where the new underpass to Placerville Drive is.

No it won't help your apnea, but I miss Placerville. Mama Leone's is pretty good if it's open. Hangtown tends to roll up the sidewalks early.
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#7
Sleeprider: You know the area! It's been years since I was there. I lived north on hwy 49 at Auburn.
For those unfamiliar with Placerville: It's in the California Gold country. Nearby Coloma is the site of Sutter's Mill.
This Veteran is medicated for your protection.
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#8
I lived in Pollock Pines, El Dorado Hills and Carmichael over the years, not to mention a stint in Eureka. Love the Redwoods, but the climate on the beach we lived on in Samoa was like nuclear winter in July. Did I mention the motorcycle roads are amazing?
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#9
Contact Lincare at its corporate offices: Phone: (800) 284-2006. As with many companies, this tends to fix a lot of problems.

Lincare is a relatively good outfit (way better than Apria) but individual offices can suck. I'm fortunate that mine is quite good.

If you are on Medicare, then after you contact the Corporate Office, let them know that you will also contact Medicare to report this issue since you were effectively being punished for the case manager not doing her job. If you are not on Medicare, tell them that you will report this issue to the corporate office of your insurer.

As to HIPPA, you probably don't have a case since with the exception of the receptionist, they likely all have access due to the small office.
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#10
Carry a book with you, for times you arrive early for an appointment. Do not expect them to fit you *IN* early; just check in and say "I've got a good book, cuz I know I'm way too early!"
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